The Fifth Estate Staying Alive: Canada's Controversial Safe Injection Site

The Fifth Estate Staying Alive: Canada's Controversial Safe Injection Site

It has been called "an abomination" by a minister of Stephen Harper's government. Its staff members claim it "saves lives." A regular client calls it "a community centre for junkies." Whatever you might call it, Insite is the only one of its kind in North America – a supervised injection site for drug addicts. Insite, located in Vancouver's notorious Downtown Eastside, has been controversial since it first opened its doors in 2003. An exemption from federal drug laws was granted to allow addicts to bring their drugs onto the premises and inject them. Insite provides clean needles and medical supervision. It's funded by British Columbia's government and championed by community leaders, but Harper's government is openly hostile to it and is trying to shut it down. Now, for the first time, cameras have been allowed to record the daily dramas at Insite. Inside is a world not many have seen before. In Staying Alive, reporter Hana Gartner introduces some of those who work there, including Darwin Fisher, the intake manager, and Dr. Gabor Mate, who has been caring for addicts, prostitutes and the homeless for the past 10 years. Gartner also follows three addicts doing their best to survive despite the many issues that confront them: poverty, homelessness, unemployment, mental illness, HIV/AIDS, a history of trauma and/or sexual abuse. Insite's future is uncertain. In this CBC exclusive, for the first time, see inside Insite and make up your own mind. Warning: This program contains disturbing images, language and subject matter. Viewer discretion is advised.

  • 2009
  • 00:43:27
  • 15-17
  • Added on: 06/14/2013
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